Feb. 15 – The global demand for aircraft is expected to balloon over the next two decades, according to forecasts made by major industry player, Boeing. The U.S. aerospace giant predicts global airlines will require 33,500 new aircraft worth about US$4 trillion by 2030 – 60 percent of which will be to feed market growth.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for some 35 percent of these orders, according to Boeing’s Vice President for Commercial Planes Randy Tinseth. He also said Boeing’s response will include plans to increase production and possibly introduce a larger version of its new 787 Dreamliner. Continue reading
Sept. 30 – China and Russia announced that they would continue their opposition against including civil aviation into the European Union’s (EU’s) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which demands global airlines buy carbon emission permits, according to a joint statement made by China’s Civil Aviation Administration and Russia’s Transport Ministry on Tuesday.
“We oppose any unilateral and coercive decisions that were made without any agreements among the countries concerned… Including international aviation in the EU’s ETS violates the principles of the Chicago Convention and trespasses the sovereignty of other states. And it may bring about extremely negative consequences for the international aviation industry,” read the statement. Continue reading
Jul. 18 – Leading a delegation of officials from China’s central government, Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa yesterday to attend the opening ceremony of the region’s first expressway.
With a length of 38.7 kilometers, the new four-lane highway will link Gonggar Airport to downtown Lhasa – reducing the travel time from the airport to downtown Lhasa to just 30 minutes. The construction of the expressway started in April 2009 and was finished earlier this month, 11 months ahead of schedule. Continue reading
Jun. 28 – Asia’s largest low-cost airline, the Malaysian-based AirAsia Berhad is looking to develop more routes to India and China, seeing the opportunities generated from the increasing demand from those fast-growing countries. Its expansion plan in India may bring more competition to IndiGo, India’s domestic airline that operates under a similar low-cost model and currently boasts routes to 25 destinations in the country.
AirAsia plans to use its subsidiary in Bangkok – Thai AirAsia – as a hub for its expansion to India and North China, according to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes. In order to support the plan, the company’s Thai arm will likely add another 50 aircraft to its current 20-plane fleet. Continue reading
Jun. 7 – Virgin Australia Airlines, the country’s second-largest airline, has just inked a code-sharing deal with Singapore Airlines (SIA) which will provide customers with access to more destinations. With analysts describing it as the worst nightmare of Qantas – Australia’s largest airline – the deal will help Virgin Australia capture the numerous opportunities brought by leisure and business travel demands generated from the Chinese and Indian markets.
The new deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year if given regulatory approval, will enable both airlines to code-share on domestic and international flights, opening up over 400 new destinations for customers. Continue reading
Part of the Khoshigt Valley, site of the new UB airport
May 23 – The Mongolian government has agreed with the government of Japan on a US$270 million soft loan, repayable over 40 years at a rate of just 0.2 percent to build a new airport to service Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. The city’s current airport suffers from occasional high winds and has a relatively short runway unsuitable for 747s and larger aircraft.
The new facility, to be built and completed by 2015, will be able to service all larger modern aircraft and affords better protection from windshear. It should reduce annual flight cancellations and delays from the current level of 2.5 percent down to 0.5 percent. The airport will be built in the Khoshigt Valley, near Terelj in Tov Aimag, about 54 kilometers from the capital. Construction on the new airport – together with a high speed motorway that connects Ulaanbaatar with the airport – is expected to be started later this year. The loan was agreed on condition that Japanese contractors and suppliers were used. Continue reading
May. 10 – An Indonesian MA60 turbo-prop plane carrying 27 people crashed into the ocean off the country’s easternmost Papua Province on May 7, leaving no survivors according to a navy officer’s confirmation. As the first fatal accident reported for this model, which was developed and made in China, the crash may temporarily set back the plane’s improving sales records worldwide.
According to Transport Ministry official Bambang Ervan, the aircraft, operated by Merpati Nusantara Airlines, was enroute to the small port town of Kaimana from the coastal city of Songrongand with 21 passengers and six crew on board when it crashed 500 meters short of the runway. Continue reading